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As deadline looms, 138K New Jerseyans have signed up for Obamacare plans

Monday, December 18, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Marwa Chebli
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By Katie Jennings

12/13/2017 12:53 PM EDT

With three days left to sign-up for Obamacare plans, 138,773 New Jerseyans have selected a plan on Healthcare.gov, according to federal figures released Wednesday.

The number is nearly 11,000 ahead of where it was at this time last year, when 127,800 individuals had signed up by week six. The Trump administration cut this year's sign-up period in half — it will end Dec. 15 instead of Jan. 31 — and has slashed federal funding for advertising and outreach.

"Rather than actively suppressing enrollment, the Administration should be making every effort to ensure Americans have access to health care," Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. said in a statement. "When the Trump Administration decided to shorten the enrollment period this year, they knew it would lead to millions of Americans missing out on the opportunity to sign up for coverage."

President Donald Trump, Pallone said, should "do the right thing" and extend open enrollment through January 2018.

Even with a last minute surge in sign-ups over the next few days, New Jersey's Obamacare enrollment will likely fall far short of the more than 295,000 sign-ups last year. Around 243,700 of those New Jerseyans who selected a plan ended up paying for the first month's premium according to CMS data.

New Jersey is one of 39 states that uses the federal website Healthcare.gov. Nearly 4.7 million people have signed up for Obamacare plans nationwide on the website since Nov. 1.

Gov. Chris Christie has been a staunch opponent of Obamacare, even though he was one of a handful of Republican governors to take advantage of Medicaid expansion, which enabled a half-million low-income residents to gain coverage with the federal government picking up most of the tab.

Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, who assumes office Jan. 16, has championed the Affordable Care Act, repeating a mantra of "defend, defend, defend" in light of attempts by congressional Republicans to dismantle former President Barack Obama's signature law.

Murphy has said he would direct state agencies to get involved in helping people find health insurance, but would not commit to establishing a state-based Obamacare exchange or using other state resources to fill any gaps created by the Trump administration at a recent open enrollment event. 


New Jersey Primary Care Association

3836 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 201, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Tel: 609-689-9930 | Fax: 609-689-9940 | Email: info@njpca.org

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